Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Managerial Situation

For the most part, I have stayed out of the fray over the Nationals ongoing search for a new manager. I jumped in back on October 6th, getting a kick out of SenatorNat predicting that Washington would interview Terry Pendleton for the job--well before it became public. I stated in that post, even if Pendleton was not the eventual hire, it was a good sign, that both Stan Kasten and Jim Bowden are looking "outside the box"-- for new talent, not recycled "good baseball" men.

Since that first week in October, Lou Piniella signed on with the Cubs, Joe Girardi backed out, citing family-- Joey Cora and Cecil Cooper were told, they would not get the job. Davey Johnson is not being considered. Dusty Baker publicly wants the job, but has not heard anything. And now, Pendleton has also backed out of the situation.

All those development are OK WITH ME. Being the diehard fan that I am, I read everything, and I mean EVERYTHING about Our Washington Nationals each and every day. Whether its the main stream Washington Post, Times, Nationals.com, ESPN.com/MLB, Rotoworld,WTOP, and, most importantly, every single NATS BLOG. Every Single Day--EVERY SINGLE ONE. Everyone's angles and takes on ALL THINGS NATS is always interesting to me.
What has got me fired up, is the ongoing SNIPING and BITCHING, all over the place, about the Nationals hiring process for that new Manager. Calling Stan Kasten incompetent and cheap for not hiring Expensive Available Talent like Piniella, Girardi, Baker and Buck Showalter. On one blog, the host was challenged as being a racist, when he noted that the final KNOWN candidates are all minorities and that The Nationals are just looking to please folks after letting Frank Robinson go.

This has got to stop. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, that's what our country is all about, but we really don't know what is going on. And, as I commented, on FARID's The Beltway Boys--Stan Kasten and Jim Bowden are in a Win-Win Situation right now. Our Washington Nationals are not going to win anything next year, possibly not even when the new Stadium is scheduled to open in 2008, as they are developing, evaluating and finding even more talent--Kasten and Bowden may get lucky, find a fresh young face that can grow with our young team. But, even if they are wrong, or it doesn't work out, it will not matter. The talent will continue to mature, and if management feels its necessary, then, go out and find that perfect manager that can bring the horses home--in first place. Look what happened to the Detroit Tigers. Alan Trammel was given the job to nurture a floundering franchise with good young talent. Jim Leyland took them to the World Series. This happens all the time.

Clearly in the past, I have stated, time and time again, I am not a big fan of Jim Bowden. Others could have done a far better job with our limited resources, but Stan Kasten has been nothing short of a GODSEND to this franchise, thus far. Hands on in everyway--just ask anyone in Section 320 how Mr. Kasten personally has come to our section to take care of some situations. Making sure everyone is happy. At RFK during games, that man is all over the place, wanting to make everything worthwhile, despite all of RFK's shortcomings, for every single fan. A tireless worker that, from my perspective, wants to get it right, even if its not during yours, mine, or anyone else's timeframe.

I apologize for the rant, its something that I thought I would never do, but, I truly believe everything will turn out OK, in the long run. Our Nationals don't need to waste $5 million per season for a manager of a developing team. Use that on Alfonso Soriano, or a Starting Pitcher--so we have something to cheer for in 2007.

Despite all our personal knowledge of baseball and what we feel is right or not, none of us has actually run a franchise. Stan Kasten has, and successfully, for many seasons. Give the man a chance.


Harper said...

I think the whole "Alan Trammel" comparison is the problem here. No one wants to be the manager before the manager that leads a team into the playoffs, and there is a chance that the next guy will be just that. Girardi knows the Yanks will be supported, Pendleton knows the Braves have some great young hitters and only need a pitcher or two to be right back in the Wild Card race. Why jump at a chance now with the Nats and have yourself branded a poor manager when waiting a year or two will likely land you a sweet gig.

We're going to have to go with someone just looking for a chance -either because they are young or they had a bad experience last time. That's not all bad (that's exactly how Torre was before the Yanks), but it kind of stings not being the belle of the ball.

SenatorNat said...

Very good assessment by SBF once again, and, of course, "All Good" and "Stan's the Man" has been my consistent mantra. I think that Kasten is a calming influencing on BowBow's impulsive nature, channeling his positive energies in a strategic wholecloth.

Notice that their approach is very similar to Uncle Abe and divorced from Danny Boy: drawing virtually no media attention, and looking for untested new excellent coaches for winning franchise. My fear is that the 37 year-old Manny Acta, who we can analogize to Wizard's Eddie Jordan, in that he is young,has a connection to the Nationals franchise (Jordan had connection to D.C. period); and has worked for Mets ("Nets"), is now in play in Texas and S.F. Hopefully, Kasten and BowBow have the prospects narrowed to four in this order: 1. Manny Acta; 2. Tony Pena; 3. Jerry Manuel; 4. Randy St. Clair (!).

Cubs had better win and soon, since they clearly have the DannyBoy playbook - lots of loud splashing noises and conjecture. ARod certain to go there now to return to the loving arms of Sweet Lou; perhaps adding Alf to the mix! If so, recall Deon and Bruce for the 'Skins would put them into the Super Bowl for sure in 2000. Finished 7-9 with Terry Robinski coaching!

All Good. Have faith in Kasten...

Nationals are not belle of the ball, just as Wizards post-MJ certainly were not: sometimes it is best not to be, as Gibbs and Snyder have operated as though the Redskins warrant winning immediately because they are!

There is no fixed timetable for making the play-offs, regardless, as injuries, especially to key pitchers, can devastate even well-balanced teams. Look at the Mets this year not being able to get to the Series.

Young is preferable to old, generally, in terms of injury probability. Nats are snakebitten, in that they have two key players in their prime prone to serious injury: Nick Johnson and John Patterson. I do not think that Kasten has the team on a "schedule" for making the play-offs, so much as on schedule to complete a solid pyramid of management with broad base and a manager on the field for a possible run of 15 years, like Bobby Cox. Thus, providing seasoned pitching coach provides continuity and assists a young guy like Acta - like Lee M. for Bobby Cox. And it is clear that BowBow and Stan the Man concurred on this idea in view of St. Clair's acumen.

Anonymous said...

If we hire the RIGHT manager, it won't matter if he's a big name or not. I guess I am a little disappointed only because it seems a lot of people don't WANT to come here. (The notable exception is Gary Carter.) Then again, how many people knew about Bucky Harris when the Nats hired him as manager in 1924? (BTW, only three managers have more wins than Harris)

Arias said...

What do you think about the Nationals employing [b]known racist[/b] Bill Singer as a scout of their [b]operations in Asia[/b] ?!?